Decree-Law no. 74/2006, of March 24, establishes that "in university education, the cycle of studies leading to the master's degree should ensure that the student acquires a specialization of academic nature using the research activity , innovation or the deepening of professional competence "(Article 18 (3)). The Master in Law of Catholic Porto aims to give full effect to this objective.

In addition to students holding a degree in Law, holders of other degrees may be admitted, with the same requirements that are required for candidates from other universities.

Benefiting from the experience gained since the curricular reform started in 2003/2004, four fundamental areas of specialization were initially defined: Private Law, Business and Business Law, Criminal Law, Public and International Law; it was understood that these would be, in modern, the main areas of action of the jurist. The definition of the contents related to each area was done according to the same criterion. The confirmation of the emergence of other areas of specialization led, in the following years, to the creation of the area of Tax Law and the launch of the Master in Law and Management. Shortly afterwards, three more areas of specialization were inaugurated: Administrative Law, Public, International and European Law and Labor Law.

Flexibility implied abandoning the traditional model of nuclear and optional subjects and choosing a model in which all curricular units are optional, allowing the student to select the subjects according to their personal training project. In fact, there are no compulsory and / or structuring disciplines as these are included in the first cycle of training (undergraduate course); on the other hand, each student is able to define his or her training course, according to their professional or scientific objectives. It should be noted that this model is unique in our country but corresponds to the practice followed in some of the best American and European universities (Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and Stanford in the United States, Cambridge and Oxford in Europe).

Therefore, the structure of the Master in Law allows the option between a General or Specialization:

Master of Law (general)

  • Free choice of curricular units or seminars completing 60 ECTS
  • Dissertation in the area of one of the curricular units carried out

Master in Law (specialization)

  • Accomplishment of more than 33 ECTS in curricular units or mandatory seminars in the area
  • Dissertation in the same area of specialization

Thus, 90 ECTS correspond to the academic phase - 60 ECTS: each subject corresponds to 6 ECTS and each Seminar to 3 ECTS. The Dissertation corresponds to 30 ECTS.

In addition, this model also allows for the attendance (with or without evaluation and respective accreditation) of individual courses or seminars without the need for formal enrollment in the master's degree course. That is, professionals who, for any reason, do not have the possibility to attend the master's degree (or do not want to), can attend curricular units (disciplines or seminars) according to their need and / or availability.

For the future, the Faculty will remain attentive to the needs of the global market, especially the interdisciplinary component of training. In order to broaden horizons for our students, we will invite foreign teachers and experts to teach disciplines and seminars.

Finally, it should be noted that almost all of our newly graduated students chose our Faculty to continue their studies and, after such a short time, about half of our Master's students came from various public and private universities Portuguese universities, as well as universities in some Portuguese-speaking countries.

Entrance Examinations / Requirements:

Candidates holding any degree are admitted.


The Law School offers a Masters in Law in a unique model in the country, in which all the curricular units are optional, allowing to select the disciplines and seminars for each personal training course, according to the professional and scientific objectives.

The structure of the Master in Law allows the choice between a General or Specialization:

a) Master in Law (General)

Study Plan: Free choice of all curricular units that complete 60 ECTS. Dissertation in the area of one of the curricular units made.

b) Master in Law (Specialization)

Study Plan: Completion of at least 33 ECTS in compulsory curricular units or seminars of the selected area and free choice of the remaining curricular units, until a total of 60 ECTS is completed. Dissertation in the same area of specialization.

Specialization areas

  • Private Law: This area aims at deepening matters essentially linked to Civil Law. Each year, the School makes an effort to include in this area disciplines and / or seminars related to emerging areas of Private Law. This area is specially designed for the professionals of the forum (lawyers and magistrates).
  • Criminal Law: This area seeks to deepen the study of matters related to Criminal Law, and especially the study of emerging issues in this area that tend to assume an increasing importance. The recent reality shows that a specialization in Criminal Law is justified, which includes, in addition to traditional matters, the connection of this branch of Law to areas such as Tax Law, Administrative Law, International Law, among others. This area is specially designed for the professionals of the forum (lawyers and magistrates).
  • Business and Business Law: This area seeks to deepen matters essentially related to Business Law, with a particular emphasis on Commercial Law, especially Business Law, but also contemplating the study of matters related to the exercise of business activity , such as Competition Law, Tax Law and Insolvency Law. This area is especially designed for those who wish to practice (or practice effectively) business law or business consultancy, and, of course, business lawyers; is also useful to the professionals of the forum (lawyers and magistrates).
  • International and European Law: This is an area essentially directed to International and European Law, but without neglecting the study of matters of Constitutional Law that in some way have a connection with International Law. With such characteristics, this area is useful for anyone pursuing a career in public administration and international institutions, including institutions of the European Union, and remains an excellent choice for lawyers and magistrates.
  • Labor Law (Ministered in post-employment hours): The attention given to this branch of law in undergraduate courses is not proportional to the importance that labor issues assume in legal practice. Aware of this fact, and of the growing demand by legal professionals for a specialization in this area, we decided to create a new area of specialization in this branch of Law. Subjects that traditionally are not part of the curricula of law schools will be addressed, exploring some links to International Law and Social Security Law. This area is intended for all lawyers who exercise or intend to work in the labor field, whether in the forum, in companies or in other organizations in general.
  • Tax Law (Ministered after post-employment): This area aims to deepen the study of matters related to Tax Law, and especially the study of emerging issues in this same area linked to other branches of Law. Thus, in addition to the deepening of traditional matters related to the study of the main taxes, the links of Tax Law to International Law and Criminal Law are explored. This area is especially designed for those who wish to exercise (or perform effectively) auditing and tax consulting, business advocacy and business consulting.


International Stages

The School of Law is strongly committed to providing its students with the comprehensive and qualifying training that results from international mobility experiences. In this context, it encourages and promotes the realization of various international internship modalities, according to the objectives and profile of the student, within the framework of the Erasmus Program, Free Mobility or the Curricular Internship Program in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Students taking these placements may, for this purpose, benefit from an Erasmus grant if the internship is carried out in a country covered by this program (eg Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Macedonia, Turkey), as well as a possible reduction of tuition fees during the mobility period.

The recognition of these internships results from enrollment in a diploma supplement, when they are not recognized as having a curricular value. All students enrolled in the 2nd cycle of the Law School can apply for the following internship modalities:

Curricular Internships at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mobility of students to Portuguese diplomatic missions (embassies, missions, consulates of the Curriculum Internship Program in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and can benefit from an Erasmus scholarship.

Research Internships

Mobility directed to the research for the master's dissertation, to be carried out after the end of the academic period, in a higher education institution, with a minimum duration of 2 months and a maximum of 5 months, being eligible for an Erasmus scholarship.

Internships for New Graduates

Mobility of recent graduates to carry out an internship in a diversified professional context, with a minimum duration of 2 months and a maximum of 12 months, to be completed after completion of the master's program, and can benefit from an Erasmus grant.

Summer internships

Mobility of students in a professional or university context, with a minimum duration of 2 months and a maximum of 3 months, and can benefit from an Erasmus scholarship.

Program taught in:
  • Portuguese (Portugal)

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Last updated January 3, 2019
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